Friday, September 14, 2007

Where to Shop for Wood Bats

As the wood bat craze grows, so too does the marketplace for buying wood bats. There are some great online stores with a wide selection of brands including,,,, and Check out Hitting World as well for a large selection of bats, training aids, videos, etc. is also a great site. Not only do they offer a broad range of makes and models, but they provide visitors with a host of informational offerings including a history of baseball bats, a baseball bat online forum, and tips on how to choose the right bat. also provides a very nice handy-dandy list of manufacturers in a database format with columns for where they're located, what types of bats they offer, links to manufacturer's websites, etc.

In addition, and proof that at least some in the retail market know this trend is for real, the latest Baseball Express catalog carries its widest array of wood bat offerings yet (some four pages!). Included in their inventory are bats made by Mizuno, Nokona, BWP, Marucci, BambooBat, Xbat, Sam Bat, DeMarini, Louisville Slugger, Mattingly, Brett Brothers, Old Hickory, CTG, Dbat, and Rawlings.

Make sure to check out these past blog entries as well: "Customizing Wood Bats: Tips from Zinger Bats," "Support Your Local Bat Company," and "The Big Boys: Just How Interested in Your Wood Purchase Are They?" All of these entries have numerous links in them to great small and large manufacturers alike.

A note of caution: I like to buy directly from bat companies and go out of my way to make contact with owners and bat masters (my term). As noted throughout this web site, the keys to a good bat are the wood and the craftsmanship. I want to feel confident that I'm giving myself the best chance at getting pro-stock wood and that when I ask for a -3 or -4 drop weight that I'm going to get what I pay for. Also, while many of the companies listed here have what seems like a large selection, there are dozens of other bat makes out there (many of which are listed in articles at this web site) that you may want to take a look at as well, including: Tom Cat Bats, Chesapeake Thunder, Bull Dog Bats (specializing in vintage bat remakes), and The Minnesota Bat Company. (makers of the Granite Bat).

However, buying from one of the retail outlets listed above doesn't necessarily mean you aren't going to get a nice bat. Usually they have a quick turnaround time and their selection allows you to do more comparative shopping. Plus, because they buy in bulk, their prices are often very reasonable.

All in all, wherever you shop, remember that you vote first in this world with your dollars. Supporting the wood bat industry is a vote for real baseball. Baseball Express is selling a t-shirt in their catalog that says: "All Talent, All Work, All Natural." To that I would add "All Wood."

Photos courtesy of: Baseball Express

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